Goodbye September + Your Mind Can Control Your Pace

Adieu, September. It's been a wild ride! 255.72 miles logged for the month, which was 14 more miles than August's total. Slow + steady progess and can I tell you how much I'm enjoying this training cycle? I love pushing my body in a hard workout, my easy run days are refreshing and joyful plus I feel like bit by bit I'm getting stronger in the strength department.
So, I had one day off from running in the month of September... crazy, right? I've said before that Mondays are an optional day off or super easy 3-4 miles and I've opted for the easy miles every Monday except last week. I continue to let my body lead the way and those recovery miles have felt awesome the day after a long run. That being said, I have a feeling I am going to take more Mondays as a complete rest day in October.

Thanks September!

Let me also confess that I got my butt kicked this week! 18 miles on Sunday and then the killer hill workout on I am still feeling it a bit and need to get in for a massage, stat.
It's so important to be gentle with your body after those hard efforts, and I've been really babying my body these last few days. I really want it to know how much I appreciate how strong it is and how it continues to show up for me day after day. Do you thank your body after a hard effort?

On my easy seven mile run today, I had a lot of thoughts about how your mind can really control your pace on a run or in a race. For instance, I notice that when I need my body to run faster - I literally can tell my mind that it's time to pick up the pace - this is important right now. Or, I've got goal paces to achieve today and I need to laser focus on my form and use my arms effectively. When I talk to myself like that, I notice almost immediately that I begin to run faster. Also, the reverse - today was an easy effort run and I felt like my body was running a bit quicker than it should be on as easy day. Sure enough, I was running faster and needed to slow down, so I told my mind - "okay, today is an easy day - it's important not to run too fast, time to slow down" and just like that the pace dropped. Imagine how beneficial this would be in a race? Picture yourself in a hard spot during your goal race: you are tired, but there's still a lot left in the tank - you just need to tap into it. Tell yourself that - talk to yourself. "I know this is a bit hard, but I've worked so hard to be here in this moment. It's time to dig a little deeper and get back on pace and I'm ready to do that."

Three Ways Your Mind Can Control Your Pace

1. Believe in Yourself.
This is so important. If you are in the middle of a race and you don't believe in yourself, then it's essentially over. Period. Even during the really, really hard parts of pain - you have to truly believe that you have the power to make your body perform.
Check out this execerpt from Runner's World about Training Your Brain To Run Your Best:

2. One Mile At A Time
Some miles will be harder than others. Don't give up just because mile eight didn't go as planned. Think of mile nine as a fresh start - whether it's the half marathon or the full, you still have time to turn things in your favor and get back on goal pace.

3. Talk To Yourself
Like really have a conversation with yourself. You can tell your body what you want it to do... "I need to speed up 15 seconds". If you really believe it in your heart, most likely (if you have done all of the proper training) your body will comply. Of course there are the instances where other factors come into play. Weather is a huge factor and indicator of your performance on race day. When I ran Boston this year, heat was a big road block. Although I went into the race without changing my time goals, I knew in the later parts of the race that a PR wasn't going to happen. I also clearly realized that if I let myself fall apart, it would make the situation much worse. Even though disappointment sets into your brain, push that aside and keep working (safely) as hard as you can - you may be surprised by the final outcome. I ran 3:23:01 that day, and although it wasn't a PR (and far from what I trained for) - if I had let myself fall apart and not kept pushing, even though the split times were sobering and disappointing, my overall outcome would have been much more disappointing. Instead I walked away optimistic about the future and happy about the hard work I put in and continue to put in each day. 

Believe in yourself.

Do awesome things.


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